…Condemns victimisation of APGA guber candidate ahead election
The Association of Ebonyi Indigenes Socio-Cultural In the Diaspora (AEISCID) said it has observed with sincere misgivings the recent actions of the Ebonyi State Police Command declaring the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate, Prof. Benard Odoh wanted over the murder of his traditional ruler, Ezeogo Christopher Igboke Ewa.
The group warned the police command against joining what it termed dangerous politics by some stakeholders in the state.
Penultimate Monday, Umuezeokoha monarch who doubled as the Chairman of Ezza traditional rulers council was gruesome murder. Since then there been accusations against some political figures by the state government.
But in a statement released to newsmen Wednesday by the President World-wide of the accountability group, Amb. Pascal Oluchchukwu, urged the Commissioner of Police “to within 24 hours withdraw the statement credited to him that Police declared Odoh wanted, withdraw the officers on his trail to arrest him and then restore the policemen attached to him that has been reportedly withdrawn on the orders of the Police even when some of them were not deployed from the State Command.”
According to Oluchchukwu, Ebonyi people will hold the Police command accountable if any harm befalls Odoh or any candidate for that matter.
The statement said: “As the theatrics of what we strongly believe is a well-plotted political script by the Umahi’s APC administration in Ebonyi continue to play out even in about 72 hours to Saturday’s Governorship election, this group is troubled by the fact that the recently posted Commissioner of Police, Faleye Olaleye whom we had cautioned to remain neutral and professional in his conducts appears to have allowed himself to become a willing political tool in the hands of a desperate Umahi government and their armies of dangerous occupations.”
The group said it read how the State’s Commissioner for Information, Hon. Uchenna Orji and the State’s APC Publicity Secretary, one Simbad Chidi Ogbuatu quickly churned out press statements directly accusing Professor Odoh of masterminding the killing even when security agencies were yet to commence any form of probe into the dastardly incident.
“This has been dutifully followed, in a fashion very typical of Umahi by various comments, statements and innuendos that suggest the government is playing dangerous politics with the death of the monarch alongside some members of the deceased’s polygamous family.
“Even though we understand Umahi’s politics of threatening anyone that he feels stands his path, AEISCID is truly dazed that days after Umahi accused the CP of working for the opposition, Faleye has now been almost completely pocketed by the Umahi administration in it’s desperate politics of survival in Ebonyi. This is to the extent that the Police ignored a valid Court order restraining it to declare the APGA Governorship candidate wanted when he has just less than 72 hours to face the ballot.”
While declaring that it concerned about good, credible and accountable governance in Ebonyi state, the group condemned the actions of both the Police and the Ebonyi state government to politicize the death of the monarch.
“We are also aware of statements credited to Umahi wherein in a meeting with stakeholders of Ezza Ezekuna at the Ebonyi Airport project site he disclosed that he will flood security agencies around Ezza areas on Friday ahead Saturday’s election.
“For us, this is an attempt to intimidate, harass and oppress voters particularly of Ezza extraction and it all adds to the fears that the Umahi government may have a hand in the death of the monarch just to create the kind of artificial tension it is intending to create in Ezza land and have it’s way in voter oppression and suppression.
“We call on the Police, DSS, Military and indeed, every security agent that will be on election duties not to allow themselves to be used by the state government to destabilize, arrest or oppress voters in Ebonyi come this Saturday.
“This group therefore encourages the great people of Ezza Ezekuna and indeed, all Ebonyi voters not to be intimidated, harassed or suppressed during the polls. They should go ahead and exercise their franchise and ensure they defend and protect their votes from the evil riggers that manipulated the process in the last election.
“We finally urge the CP to within 24 hours withdraw the statement credited to him that it declared Odoh wanted, withdraw the officers on his trail to arrest him and then restore the policemen attached to him that has been reportedly withdrawn on the orders of the Police even when some of them were not deployed from the State Command.
“We pray that a candidate who is truly the choice of the Ebonyi electorates emerges at the poll on Saturday and not any candidate who is hoping to be imposed through a compromised system!”